Chinatown’s huge College Station development slowly moving forward

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A rendering of the apartment complex, set to include plenty of ground-floor commercial space.

The project was once expected to open this year

A long-planned Chinatown development took a step forward this week when the planning department released a draft environmental report on the project—a major step in the approval process.

In the works for more than three years, the College Station project would bring 770 new apartments to a nearly five-acre parcel of land at the northeast intersection of College and Spring streets. The complex would also include 51,390 square feet of commercial space, including a grocery store, restaurants, a coffee shop, and an ice cream shop.

An early version of the project included a pair of 20-story towers, but plans changed when developer Atlas Capital took over the project. Designed by architecture firm Johnson Fain, the new concept calls for six five-story structures connected by a two-story podium with parking and retail space.

Jerry Neuman, a representative for the developer, tells Curbed the shorter design scheme will allow the project to integrate better with its surroundings, including the neighboring Downtown Los Angeles State Historic Park, which reopened last year after an extensive overhaul.

The environmental report indicates that the project—once expected to wrap up this year—will take about 43 months to construct, after it gains city approval. Neuman says the review process will probably last into next year, putting the opening date somewhere around 2023.

Who should be the next ‘Los Angeles Times’ architecture critic?

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One of the most important jobs in local journalism will be vacant by next month.

Probably a woman

The surprise announcement that Christopher Hawthorne was leaving his post at the Los Angeles Times to become the city’s first chief design officer generated plenty of discussion about the increasingly important role of design in government.

Among architecture writers, however, conversation quickly pivoted to another pressing issue: Who should hold the paper’s job of architecture critic next?

As the shrinking local news industry means publications have fewer resources to cover topics like architecture, the number of full-time local architecture critic positions has dwindled in recent years—at a time when cities are booming.

Especially in Los Angeles, which faces a shortage of news outlets alongside accelerated real estate development, this role is perhaps more relevant than ever.

During his tenure, Hawthorne broadened the focus of the traditional architecture beat to write about issues like transportation planning and housing policy, a trend evocative of architecture criticism in general, said Frances Anderton, host of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture. “In the last couple decades, architecture criticism has gone from emphasis on formal expression—the wow factor—to repudiation of formal expression and preoccupation with the urban realm, grassroots engagement, and issue of identity,” she said.

Many of Hawthorne’s peers hope that LA’s new critic will continue down this path—and look at the city even more holistically, like Hawthorne’s New York Times counterpart Michael Kimmelman, who has incorporated climate change and food justice into his beat.

“It’s not so much adding a new voice to the debate as bringing in someone who can continue to explain how design fits in—and why insisting on the best possible buildings and spaces matters so much in the long run,” said John King, architecture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle.

The job of the architecture critic at LA’s paper of record may become even more important as Hawthorne ascends to City Hall to align with these leaders, as the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic Blair Kamin noted: “It is equally important that this critic possess the fortitude to hold the powerful—architects, developers, and officials, including Christopher in his new government role—to account.”

Speaking truth to architectural power at the local level becomes critical at a time when a city’s future could be determined by the recruitment of a single corporate headquarters, or, perhaps more relevant in LA’s case, the bid for the Olympics.

At the same time, the Los Angeles Times is undergoing its own major changes—the newsroom unionized but also saw significant layoffs, and the paper was bought by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong—leading many to worry that the position will not be filled at all.

“It is my sincere hope that the LA Times doesn’t use Chris’ departure as an excuse to not have an architecture critic anymore,” lamented San Francisco-based critic Allison Arieff. “Now more than ever we need smart thinkers to help us all make sense of the rapid changes happening in cities today.”

Mark Lamster, architecture critic for the Dallas Morning News, echoed Arieff’s concerns. “I think it’s critically important that the job is not left vacant, and that whomever does take it on is someone who cares about the entire city and also cares deeply about architecture,” he said.

In 2014, when Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Architect counted 13 full-time architecture critics at newspapers. Almost four years later, that number has shrunk to 11: David Brussat left the Providence Journal and has not been replaced, and Robert Campbell hasn’t written a story for the Boston Globe since 2017. (Julie Iovine clarified to Curbed that she has been a columnist, not a full-time critic, at the Wall Street Journal since 2007; and, while not a newspaper, Justin Davidson is a locally focused architecture critic on staff at New York Magazine.)

It’s also important to note that, with the exception of Hawthorne’s imminent departure, there has been no turnover in these other critic roles. The voices that have been given the biggest megaphones about how U.S. cities are changing have remained largely the same for over a decade.

Of the American writers who do have full-time positions as architecture critics, at newspapers or for online outlets, very few of them are women or people of color.

Even on the current Los Angeles Times masthead, the arts critics are mostly white men.

Many architecture critics are calling for Hawthorne’s replacement to buck the trend.

“It should be a woman,” said Curbed’s architecture critic Alexandra Lange. “This may be the last open job for a newspaper architecture critic in America. 2.5 of them are currently women. We need more input from women about the design and planning of cities and here is a prime place for it, not to mention plenty of qualified candidates.”

Indeed, of the potential candidates for the job suggested online and in interviews for this story, a majority were women: Anderton, writer and author Karrie Jacobs, Lange, Los Angeles Times arts columnist Carolina A. Miranda, architecture writer Kate Wagner, critic and author Sarah Williams Goldhagen, journalist and critic Mimi Zeiger, as well as the author of this story.

Other writers named included critic Greg Goldin, Lamster, editor and critic Sam Lubell, journalist and author Geoff Manaugh, journalist and podcaster Colin Marshall, and even a call to bring back Hawthorne’s predecessor, Nicolai Ouroussoff.

The sale of the Los Angeles Times will be finalized April 1, and it is unlikely that any hiring decisions will be made until then, according to a source at the paper who asked not to be named. Plus, the paper needs to fill other roles, like national editor, which will likely take precedence over architecture critic, at least for now.

Promoting someone immediately from within the paper seems to be an especially wise decision for both the beat and the city, which is why many critics named Miranda as the clear frontrunner. Hawthorne himself specifically cited Miranda’s distinct voice when asked about who should succeed him.

Miranda is the obvious choice, agreed Jacobs, who was herself a candidate for the Los Angeles Times architecture critic job when Ouroussoff was hired in 1996. “Before taking her current position at the LA Times writing about art, she wrote persuasively about architecture for a variety of publications,” said Jacobs of Miranda. “She has a strong, unique point of view. When she writes a piece about the architecture of porn theaters, I am thrilled to read about the architecture of porn theaters. And I can’t imagine a better fit for Los Angeles at this moment in time than a Latina architecture critic.”

Can architects help end LA’s homelessness crisis?

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Homes for Hope envisions small complexes of prefabricated units that could be constructed by-right across Los Angeles.

A new book highlights the work of students at the USC School of Architecture to shelter the city’s most vulnerable residents

For close to 100 years, Los Angeles has been a haven of architectural innovation and ingenuity. For even longer, it’s been home to countless residents living without a roof over their heads on a given night.

With homelessness in the city reaching epidemic levels, it’s fair to ask whether the many creative architects and builders who call LA home can contribute to growing efforts to alleviate the crisis.

In 2016, the Martin Architecture and Design Workshop set out to answer that question, sponsoring a “Homeless Studio” at the USC School of Architecture for the fall semester. The program resulted in a new initiative called Homes for Hope, which plans to provide short-term housing to those awaiting placement in permanent supportive housing facilities tailored to serve the needs of homeless residents.

Homes for Hope has already partnered with Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission to design a concept for a small complex of prefabricated, easily reproducible units of housing. Working with the city, the organization plans to replicate the concept in other areas.

The formation of Homes for Hope and the work that students undertook to get the initiative off the ground is chronicled in a new book, Give Me Shelter. Curbed caught up with author Sofia Borges—also an instructor at the USC Homeless Studio and director of MADWORKSHOP—to talk about the role of architecture and design in solving LA’s homelessness crisis.

In the book, you talk about working with students to see homelessness as an architectural typology. How is homelessness itself an architectural typology?

If you think about the idea of someone having to relocate multiple times per day every day for the indefinite future, it’s a crazy idea. Move everything you own? [Homeless residents] really are master builders. They’re versatile, they’re experimental, they are adaptive. And there is absolutely a vernacular to homelessness.

Even just the inventive ways that people use tarps—some of the students defined this as “tarpitechture.” There’s also the bicycle caravan, outfitting a bicycle to have different kinds of storage components. There’s a lot of ideas about mobility and flexibility that then informed the prototypes that students were developing.

Homes for Hope prototypePhoto by Buddy Bleckley
A prototype of a shelter unit.

What lessons can architecture students learn studying “tarpitecture” and homeless encampments?

I think there’s a couple things. One is you don’t have to be so precious about materiality to still produce really surprising and delightful spaces. And that there’s so many cheap—or free—solutions for building and repurposing. Now, students in this class look at the world in a totally different way. Like, that’s not garbage; that’s the top of my house. Basically it’s this idea that everything and everybody can have a second chance.

During the class, makeshift homes students had designed for homeless residents in Vernon were seized by the city. That must have been frustrating.

I get it, it’s not to code, but what was there right before? That’s to code? It’s frustrating because everyone can see that it helps. We put out those homes when it started to rain and people were dry and safe. They could lock their doors. It was such a huge improvement from how they were living. To have them seized, it wasn’t surprising, but it was like, “where’s the humanity in that?”

That’s why we’re working with the city [of Los Angeles] super closely and intentionally to make sure that the real solution is one that’s not only supportive but can last, because I don’t want to ever do another thing that just gets bulldozed.

In the book you write that this is a personal project for you because you lost your brother, who was homeless and struggling with mental illness when he died. How did that affect your career trajectory and approach to architecture?

It completely changed my career trajectory because it became a lot harder to justify doing things without social value. It became harder to justify being a designer, designing for those who have money—or talking about design for the upper class and completely neglecting the fact that there are humans out on the streets who don’t have shelter.

Doctors take an oath to help anybody, and I think as architects, we should do the same. We have a very specific skill set—to provide shelter. And shelter should be a basic human right. We have to be accountable to the fact that there’s a whole group of people that needs shelter, and we’re not providing it.

You call the shelter concept in the book a draft. Are you expecting revisions?

There’s no ego here; there’s no stake in this being the only way or the right way. This is the way the city will support and get behind—and hopefully be able to do—but if you have a better idea, go for it. Let’s just do something. We all just need to do something. There’s people out there in the rain and the cold, and we’re not doing anything.

I’m all for all the ideas, all the revisions. But I hope that it makes people want to act, because I can’t do it alone. Nobody can. We have to strengthen our ties as a community and decide that this isn’t an acceptable way to live with tens of thousands of people outside suffering.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

See the dramatic makeover that could be in store for the lower LA River

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Near Cudahy Park, the riverbank would be lined with terraced seating.

Trails, meadows, and access to the riverbed itself

A wide array of projects big and small are now moving forward alongside all 51 miles of the Los Angeles River, and some of the most comprehensive planning is taking place along the river’s southern portion, from Vernon to Long Beach.

Last year the Lower Los Angeles River Working Group released a draft plan for the revitalization of the river’s final 19-mile stretch. New renderings, released last week by architecture firm Perkins + Will, offer a glimpse at what the plan could bring to the river, if executed as written.

“The signature projects are probably some of the largest open space opportunities that LA will ever see,” says Martin Leitner, the firm’s Los Angeles urban design leader.

Though the draft plan includes proposals for projects of varying size at hundreds of locations along the river, the most ambitious would transform segments of its concrete channel into public spaces with new parkland, trails, bridges, landscaping, and paths for walkers and cyclists.

The working group—a collection of community organizations, elected officials, and business coalitions—was convened by the state in 2016 to plan for the future of the lower river.

Key elements of the plan put together by the group are detailed in the renderings, including a project near Cudahy Park that will allow residents and visitors to access the concrete river bed, with terraced seating along the walls of the channel.

Another project at the Rio Hondo confluence in the city of South Gate would include a trio of new bridges, equestrian trails, and lush landscaping alongside the river.

In Long Beach, the stretch of river around Willow Street is shown in renderings with meadow-like landscaping and a boardwalk crossing over the river close to the nearby levee.

According to Leitner, Perkins + Will worked with engineering firm Tetra Tech, along with county officials and the working group itself, to create designs that prioritize communities around the river.

“Los Angeles is not about megaprojects, it is a city of diverse communities, cultures and moments,” Leitner says.

The working group released the draft plan in December and collected feedback from residents until January 11, which it will now use in finalizing those concepts. Eventually, the plan will be encompassed into the broader master plan for the entire river, now being worked on by Gehry Partners and other high-profile architecture and engineering firms.

River trail
A trail near the Rio Hondo confluence
Lower LA river shared street
A shared street concept by the river in Cudahy
LA River Rio Hondo bridge
A bridge at Rio Hondo Park
Lower LA river boardwalk
A boardwalk near Willow Street in Long Beach

This short film shows how housing homeless residents is good for LA’s neighborhoods

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This short film tours the life-changing developments of the Skid Row Housing Trust

When filmmaker Myles Kramer moved to a neighborhood near Downtown three years ago, he was surprised to be confronted by the city’s homelessness crisis on his own block. “Even on my own street, there’s a small line of tents,” he tells Curbed. “It was just a shock to move here and see that.”

Kramer knew right away he wanted to tell a story about LA’s homeless residents. He was driving through Downtown when he saw the Star Apartments, the 140-unit prefab supportive housing development in the heart of Skid Row. He began researching the building and its developer, Skid Row Housing Trust, which has 26 properties across LA to house the formerly homeless. “They really are assets to the city,” says Kramer.

Community by Design: Skid Row Housing Trust is the resulting short film, which focuses on Skid Row Housing Trust’s mission to house what has become the highest number of unsheltered people anywhere in the country, according to Mike Alvidrez, CEO of the Skid Row Housing Trust.

Kramer interviewed dozens of Skid Row Housing Trust residents about how the buildings—designed by Skid Row Housing Trust’s longtime collaborator Michael Maltzan, Killefer Flammang, and Brooks and Scarpa—have transformed their lives.

“The people are in tune with the way the design helps them—in countless ways,” says Kramer. Many residents cited the buildings’ natural light and open space. Musicians talked about the luxury of having rehearsal rooms and a safe place to store their instruments.

“One of the biggest assets is simply being able to look out the window,” says Kramer of the Star Apartments residents. “They can see Sixth Street, and for some of them, that’s where they were living.”

Although Kramer’s film focuses on how the design of the buildings improve daily life for its residents, his goal for the film was to help Angelenos understand how housing for the homeless could positively impact the greater community. “Everyone has this impression or idea when you hear about housing for the previously homeless,” he says. “It’s about changing that stereotype.”

Kramer is now working on a longer version of the film.

Community by Design: Skid Row Housing Trust will screen at the Architecture and Design Film Festival Friday night at 6:45 p.m. and Sunday, March 18 at 1:30 p.m. Check the festival schedule for details and for additional films featuring Albert Frey, Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, Glenn Murcutt, and more.

Adam Levine selling John Mayer his glam Beverly Crest ranch-style house

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Levine bought the house in 2012 and extensively renovated it.

Levine sold the house for $13.5 million

The Voice coach and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine is under contract to sell his one-story, ranch-style estate in Beverly Crest to a fellow musician—John Mayer.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Levine is selling the house for $13.5 million—quite a bit more than the $4.83 million he paid in 2012 to acquire the place.

Still, it wasn’t the profit he was hoping for. Levine had listed the property for $17.5 million in 2016.

The 7,100-square-foot house in Benedict Canyon has a distinctly midcentury-modern look to it, with exposed beam ceilings, a towering stone fireplace, and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors throughout.

The five-bedrooms, seven-bathroom estate is situated on 3.66 acres and includes a two-story, car-collector’s garage, a tennis court, and a swimming pool.

Levine and his wife, model Behati Prinsloo, sold their glamorous Hollywood Regency residence in Holmby Hills earlier this year for $18 million.

A once-famed womanizer, Mayer told the New York Times last March that he’d been living in a hotel (presumably in LA) “for fear of establishing another bachelor pad.”

Lovely brick Arts and Crafts-style house in Monrovia seeks $1.4M

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A charming brick facade and a Batchelder fireplace

This 1925 Arts and Crafts house is wonderfully preserved and, in a few places, carefully updated.

Fronted by a spacious L-shaped porch and a handsome brick facade, the Monrovia house holds its original oak floors, original molding, French doors, a Batchelder fireplace, nine-foot-tall coved ceilings, and leaded glass lamps.

New electrical, copper plumbing, and ductwork for the air conditioning have been added. The house’s two bathrooms have also been thoroughly remodeled.

The house also holds a large, carpeted basement with a sink. The space is currently in use as a craft room, but could be transformed into an additional living space, as the listing notes.

The roughly 2,100-square-foot house sits on a 10,491-square-foot lot. The ample grounds include fruit trees, a covered rear patio, and a detached garage.

The property is listed for $1.39 million.

Santa Monica could get a Tesla restaurant and charging station

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The Tesla facility would be located at 1401 Santa Monica Boulevard.

Will it be the 1950s-style drive-in Elon Musk hinted at?

Tesla owners in Santa Monica may soon be able to enjoy a meal while powering up the electric vehicles.

An unusual preliminary development application filed with the city of Santa Monica last week calls for a “Tesla restaurant and supercharger station” at 1401 Santa Monica Boulevard, now a Volvo dealership.

The application, spotted by Electrek, doesn’t offer much more information than that, but the brief description lines up with a January tweet from Musk suggesting that the carmaker might add a 1950s-style drive-in restaurant to a new LA-area charging station—roller skates and all.

The Verge reached out to Tesla to confirm whether this was the plan, but a company spokesperson wouldn’t give further details.

Constance Farrell, a Santa Monica spokesperson, tells Curbed that Tesla has not yet filed a formal application for the project. The preliminary application submitted last week will allow the company to gain feedback from city planners on the project before asking for city approval.

A restaurant is far from the biggest LA project Musk is now contemplating. The tech CEO last year revealed plans for a vast network of tunnels below Los Angeles that could transport cars (or walkers and cyclists) at high speeds.

New bus route will let hikers go from Gold Line to Altadena hiking trail

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The Sam Merrill Trail connects to paths that lead to popular hikes, like the one to Echo Mountain.

The six-month pilot starts in April

A Pasadena Transit bus route that will connect the Gold Line in Pasadena to a popular hiking trail in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Altadena is gearing up for an April 7 launch.

The Pasadena Star-News reports that the bus route will run between the Gold Line’s Memorial Park station and Altadena’s Sam Merrill Trailhead—the trail that starts at the northern end of Lake Avenue. The trail links to paths that lead to the well-trod Echo Mountain ruins and the popular Inspiration Point lookout.

The pilot will last six months, from its April kickoff to September 30. It follows other popular shuttle pilots like the one from the Monrovia Gold Line station to Chantry Flat and another from the Duarte Gold Line station to the Fish Canyon Falls trail.

Once operational, the bus will run every half hour on Saturdays and Sundays between the trailhead and the Gold Line station, says Daniel Rossman, California deputy director for The Wilderness Society. The organization is one of the program’s sponsors, along with the LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the City of Pasadena, the Trust for Public Land, and Edison International.

A post shared by Kolby Baum (@frauleingretel) on Dec 4, 2017 at 7:27pm PST

The new route, Pasadena Transit bus route 88, will pick up on the north side of the park from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., says a release from Supervisor Barger’s office.

Buses will run between 7:05 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The last bus will depart from the Trailhead at 5 p.m.

A one-way ride will cost $.75, Rossman says, and the fare can be paid in cash or with the balance on your TAP card.

The Gold Line extension into the San Gabriel Valley comes close to tons of great hiking trails but, except for the occasional shuttle pilot program, doesn’t offer direct connections to the bounty of the foothills.

Exposition Park’s Lucas Museum breaks ground today

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The new museum is finally underway. Rendering by MAD Architects.

The $1.5 billion museum is set to open in 2021

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the latest construction project in Exposition Park’s building boom, broke ground today on a spot formerly occupied by two parking lots just west of the Natural History Museum.

“Today, we officially begin to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art … a museum that welcomes everyone,” said the Lucas Museum’s founding president Don Bacigalupi.

Museum co-founders George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, were in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony. Hobson spoke first, acknowledged that the road to breaking ground has been bumpy, opening her remarks with a triumphant, “Finally!”

“This has been such a long journey,” Hobson said.

The Lucas Museum was previously proposed for Chicago—and before that, San Francisco—before coming to LA. But, Hobson said, “This is where we were always meant to be.”

The location is directly across the street from the University of Southern California, where Lucas went to film school.

The museum will join a suite of established museums already in Exposition Park, and Hobson said that the placement was ideal. “We wanted a museum campus,” Hobson said.

The interior lobby of the museum.

Speaking about the future museum, George Lucas was careful to note that the museum was not just an art museum, but also an “anthropological museum,” noting that popular, narrative art like movies “is an insight into society and what they aspire to, what they really want, [and] what they really are.”

In addition to exhibition space, the Lucas Museum will hold an archive, a library, a vast lobby, classrooms, two state-of-the-art theaters, a museum shop, and a cafe.

The museum will be surrounded by 11 acres of park space designed by landscape architecture firm Studio MLA (formerly Mia Lehrer + Associates).

The $1.5 billion museum is expected to open in 2021.

The museum will be surrounded by public park space designed by Mia Lehrer’s landscape architecture firm Studio MLA.

New shuttle will let hikers go from Gold Line to Altadena hiking trail

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The Sam Merrill Trail connects to paths that lead to popular hikes, like the one to Echo Mountain.

The six-month pilot starts in April

A new shuttle that will connect the Gold Line in Pasadena to a popular hiking trail in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Altadena is gearing up for an April 7 launch.

The Pasadena Star-News reports that the shuttle route will run between the Gold Line’s Memorial Park station and Altadena’s Sam Merrill Trailhead—the trail that starts at the northern end of Lake Avenue. The trail links to paths that lead to the well-trod Echo Mountain ruins and the popular Inspiration Point lookout.

The pilot will last six months. It follows other popular shuttle pilots like the one from the Monrovia Gold Line station to Chantry Flat and another from the Duarte Gold Line station to the Fish Canyon Falls trail.

Once operational, the shuttle will run every half hour on Saturdays and Sundays between the trailhead and the Gold Line station, says Daniel Rossman, California deputy director for The Wilderness Society, one of the shuttle’s sponsors.

A post shared by Kolby Baum (@frauleingretel) on Dec 4, 2017 at 7:27pm PST

The shuttle will pick up on the north side of the park. A one-way ride on the shuttle will cost $.75, and the fare can be paid in cash or with the balance on your TAP card.

The Gold Line extension into the San Gabriel Valley comes close to tons of great hiking trails but, except for the occasional shuttle pilot program, doesn’t offer direct connections to the bounty of the foothills.

Looking at the moon brings Angelenos together in short film

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Filmmakers hauled a telescope all over town

Two filmmakers carted a telescope to famous Los Angeles landmarks in the name of bringing the city together. Their goal? To get strangers to look at the moon.

The film shows curious and genuinely shocked people getting a glimpse of the full moon outside LA landmarks like Randy’s Donuts, Disney Hall, Echo Park Lake, and the Santa Monica Pier.

Alex Gorosh and Wiley Overstreet shot the film over the last 18 months. The two previously created a documentary for the New Yorker about police pursuits.

“We made sure to shoot in places around the city that were not only iconic locations but also very diverse, socially and economically,” says Gorosh. “It was amazing to see that regardless of our backgrounds, we all revert to little kids when faced with something so grand and awe-inspiring.”

What to expect from Trump’s first LA visit

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The president’s LA visit is rumored to include a stay at the Wilshire Grand.

Will the president be staying at the Wilshire Grand?

President Donald Trump is making his first visit to the state of California since taking office, and the trip will include a stop in Los Angeles Tuesday evening. But details about where the president plans to spend his time in LA are still somewhat hazy.

The Los Angeles Police Department, which typically released detailed street closure reports well in advance of President Obama’s visits to the area, waited until Tuesday morning to announce the closure of several major Downtown LA thoroughfares.

According to the department, the following street segments will be shut down until Wednesday at 1 p.m.:

  • Figueroa Street, between Eighth Street and Sixth Street
  • Wilshire Boulevard, between Flower Street and Beaudry Avenue
  • Seventh Street, between Flower Street and Bixel Street

The closure of these particular streets has led many to speculate that Trump, who once proposed building the world’s tallest building in Los Angeles, will be staying at the city’s new tallest tower: the Wilshire Grand.

Now in effect, the street closures are also creating traffic problems for those trying to navigate through the Downtown area. As of 3:00 p.m., the Los Angeles Department of Transportation was recording average vehicle speeds under 10 miles per hour in much of the Downtown LA core.

Early Tuesday afternoon, LAPD and LADOT asked drivers to avoid a sizable chunk of Downtown, bordered by Union Avenue on the west, Fifth Street on the north, Grand Avenue on the east, and Olympic Boulevard on the south.

LADOT warned riders over social media that the DASH A, B, E, and F lines would be skipping stops in areas near the street closures until further notice. The agency’s Commuter Express lines 409, 423, 438, and 448 will also be bypassing stops near the Wilshire Grand.

Metro says trains are running as usual, but the Figueroa Street entrance to the 7th Street/Metro Center subway station will be closed off for the rest of the day (riders can still access the station using the entrances on Flower and Hope streets).

In a statement Monday, LAPD said that “many details about this visit” would be withheld “for security reasons.” The department suggested residents should expect bad traffic and that police were prepared for protests that might break out during the visit.

After a stop in San Diego to inspect prototypes of a border wall he’s long advocated for, Trump arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon.

Before heading Downtown, Trump will reportedly attend a fundraising event at a private residence in Beverly Hills. Street closures for this event haven’t been announced, and it’s unclear what drivers should expect when navigating through the area this evening.

While campaigning for president, Trump held a fundraiser at his own residence near the Beverly Hills Hotel, but TMZ reports that’s not where he’ll be heading this time. According to the celebrity gossip site, Trump will be hosted by Tampa Buccaneers co-owner Ed Glazer at the latter’s mansion in gated Beverly Park.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the fundraiser is expected to net Trump up to $5 million.

Should this Silver Lake service station be preserved?

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The former service station at 1650 Silver Lake Boulevard.

The Streamline Modern structure was built in 1941, but the owner wants to build housing there.

A 1941 gas station on a busy stretch of Silver Lake Boulevard has been spared the wrecking ball—for now—due to its potential to be preserved as a Historic Cultural Monument.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell filed a motion for the Cultural Heritage Commission to prepare an application for the site, which currently operates as the auto body shop Precision Motors.

Citing the citywide architectural census Survey LA, O’Farrell’s motion claims that the Streamline Moderne structure “retains a high level of integrity and appears eligible for listing as a historic resource.”

According to The Eastsider, the current owner had all the permits filed to demolish the service station and replace it with a three-story mixed-use structure that included 14 apartment units. Now, the structure cannot be demolished until the Cultural Heritage Commission reports back with its recommendations.

Even if the building isn’t landmarked, it’s possible the attention will thwart the owner’s plan to demolish it. A gas station built the same year on Beverly Boulevard near Koreatown is being converted into a coffee shop.

However, a battle to save another vintage Silver Lake gas station at Rowena and Glendale didn’t end as well—it was demolished in 2008.

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ house for sale for $1.4M

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It’s being marketed as a development opportunity

The adorable home of Quentin Tarantino’s character Jimmie in his film Pulp Fiction is on the market.

The Studio City residence in whose kitchen a blood-soaked Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta stood enjoying an awkward cup of coffee with Tarantino is being marketed as a development opportunity (“plans and permits fully approved and paid for”) or a possible fixer-upper.

The kitchen seems to have many of the same features it did when the movie was filmed here—just look at that scallop-edged hood over the stove.

Hardwood floors run throughout the house, from the spacious living room to the bright bedrooms. The residence appears impeccably maintained, and retains many vintage-looking features, including built-ins and cute retro bathroom sinks.

The 1,700-square-foot house is in a good school district and has a spacious, grassy backyard. It’s seeking $1.395 million.